The MLBPA asks for A-Rod’s lawsuit to be tossed out

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As expected, the MLBPA has asked the court to strike A-Rod’s claims against it. Its argument: A-Rod can’t claim he didn’t get a good defense from the union given that his suspension was reduced and given the quality of its argument and briefing in the case. A-Rod has until Friday to respond.

This could drag on for a while, of course. For whatever reason A-Rod didn’t ask for an injunction to have his suspension put on hold, which would have accelerated matters considerably. Probably because he knows he’s likely to lose, I imagine, but how having a protracted legal battle that gets him to the same place helps anyone other than his lawyers is beyond me.

Brandon McCarthy wins final spot in Dodgers’ rotation

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We learned on Monday that Hyun-Jin Ryu won one of the final two spots in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Brandon McCarthy has won the other, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports. Alex Wood was McCarthy’s competitor for the spot.

McCarthy, 33, posted a 4.85 ERA across four appearances spanning 13 innings this spring, yielding seven earned runs on 14 hits and a walk with seven strikeouts. Wood, a southpaw, gave up five earned runs in six innings against the Reds on Tuesday, which might have factored into the decision.

Last season, McCarthy made nine starts and one relief appearance, posting a 4.95 ERA with a 44/26 K/BB ratio in 40 innings. In the event McCarthy falters, the club has Wood as well as Julio Urias and the injured Scott Kazmir as potential replacements.

Yankees re-sign Jon Niese to a minor league deal

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The Yankees have re-signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, George A. King III of the New York Post reports. Niese was released on Sunday, but he’ll stick around and provide rotation depth for the Yankees.

Niese had knee surgery last August and got a late start to spring training as a result. In six spring appearances lasting an inning each, the lefty gave up three earned runs on five hits and a walk with five strikeouts.

Niese, a veteran of nine seasons, put up an aggregate 5.50 ERA with an 88/47 K/BB ratio in 121 innings last season between the Pirates and Mets.